Networking: Working with Perceptions

It was a rude shock to arrive in Tartu back in 1994. Before I got here, I was a partner in a law firm. I was respected. I was connected. I was a serious person. Then I was just an oddball. Someone that the locals could not quite figure out.

I had not changed, but perceptions by others of who I was certainly had. It woke me up to the challenge of aligning what we think of ourselves with what others think of us. It is a lifelong challenge.

At the simplest level, we want people to perceive what we can accomplish. That is easy when we are boasting of past achievements. It becomes more of a challenge when we are trying to connect about future collaboration. That challenge comes out in this nice piece about trying to get a job in Silicon Valley.  A highly accomplished entrepreneur from the Jordan cannot get his foot in the door for interviews.

What I had failed to see was that from most recruiters’ perspectives, the market I was coming from was irrelevant.

Then he got it. no one saw him for who he thought he was

I figured that if I created something that inspired people and got a wide audience talking about it, that would force talent scouters to take notice.

He turned himself into a product – but producing an interesting report for a tech form on how to enter the Middle East market. Bingo. Suddenly everyone got it.

Can you turn yourself into a product like this? Good question to think about.


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